Nicaragua – Primary School (Esteli)

Project: Primary School Construction in Esteli, Nicaragua
Partners: Project Hope

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This project seeks to support the construction of a 2-3 classroom primary school in the departmental capital, Esteli, of the department of Esteli, Nicaragua. The school will be built in a poor neighbourhood of Esteli where children currently have to leave their neighbourhood in order to attend primary school. This project will work with Nicaraguan partner, FUNARTE, with the support of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education (MINED) to build a simple, sturdy, bright school so that children can attend school in their neighbourhood. The school should enable approximately 200 students to attend classes (in two turns) in their community and will meet a need identified by families in this low-income neighbourhood.

In the poor neighbourhood of Esteli where the school will be located, children who attend primary school currently have to walk long distances to arrive at school. As this is a neighbourhood where the majority of families live in poverty, many children are engaged in economic activities by necessity and the additional time lost in their travel to and from school dissuades many parents from encouraging the education of their children. Children from this poor neighbourhood also face discrimination and taunting at their schools due to their families’ poverty. Parents and children alike have expressed the need for a primary school within their own community to address issues of distance, time and safety. Many families whose children are currently out of school have communicated to Nicaraguan partner, FUNARTE, that the absence of a local school within their neighbourhood is a major reason for their children’s absence from school.

The Nicaraguan Ministry of Education has also acknowledged the need for a primary school in the area but has been unable to provide resources to support its construction. MINED supports the project, agrees that there is a strong need for it, and has signed an agreement with FUNARTE indicating that they will provide teachers, equipment and materials to the school once it is built.

The neighbourhood, of El Barrio 18 de mayo, is where school construction will take place. This is a very impoverished one and therefore is one in which malnutrition, unemployment, temporary informal employment, illiteracy and children out of school are frequent. Because of its location within the city, this neighbourhood is one that suffers most from the frequent heavy rains and flooding that affects the region.

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